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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-04-02
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.61/03 01-02.04.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The Turkish Cypriot leader is trying to defend his illegal regime set up through the force of arms after the Turkish invasion Illegal Bayrak Television (31.03.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas briefed the journalists on the Cyprus problem and the political developments in the occupied areas today.Mr Denktas first made a statement and replied to questions as follows: "The opposition leaders cooperate with the Greek Cypriots to publish articles that claim that we do not have a state or sovereignty. A [Turkish Cypriot] party leader has gone as far as to say that they will oust and destroy this arrogant state. No one should trifle with the state. The state exists and it will continue to exist. If they have a problem with the government, political parties, and parliament, then they should say so. They should criticize them. However, struggling against the state and arguing that they will destroy it is a crime. That should be realized.
I read an article a few days ago. It argued that I believe that our state descended from heaven. It was by the same party leader. He said that the people established the state. Well, since he agreed to that, I should ask whether he wants the people to destroy it. Who gave you the right to behave in that way? Once a state is established, it belongs not only to the people that established it but also to all the future generations and to those who sacrificed their life for it. The state must be respected.
We follow their activities and look at our people. We ask where they find the strength and funds they need to mislead the people--I mean, a small group of them. However, that is gradually coming to light. They exposed themselves on the Internet. Who is with whom, who is doing what, and who is writing this or that is coming to light on the Internet. In view of that, I advise our people to remain calm and fully support their state. The economic problems will be solved in time. They will be solved. Moving away from motherland Turkey will be madness. It will be the most serious crime that can be committed against the future generations. We will maintain our cooperation with Turkey.
I responded to a statement by the US ambassador a few days ago by saying that foreign ambassadors feel free to behave in any way they like among us. I said that they interfere in our internal affairs. Mr Ferdi Soyer reacted to my criticism by making a demagogic statement. He argued that I was upset by the Turkish ambassador's participation in the Council of Ministers meeting and decided to criticize the ambassadors. Mr Soyer is well-aware that I would never describe guarantor Turkey's ambassador as a foreign diplomat. The Turkish ambassador is trying to contribute toward the effort Turkey makes with its military forces, budget, and everything else to help our state to develop. The disclosure that was made after the Council of Ministers meeting on that day outlined the economic measures that are realized with Turkey's support. Mr Soyer must have been informed on that. The exchange of views with the Turkish ambassador or any other ambassador should not be described as foreign interference. That would be a shameful approach. The ambassador of guarantor Turkey is different from the other ambassadors. Those who cannot see the difference between them should see an eye specialist."
A journalist recalled that the Cyprus government will sign the document for Cyprus' accession to the EU on 16 April and asked Denktas to comment.
He replied: "Parity must be established between the economies of the two sides. Otherwise, a partnership cannot be established. Equality must be established between the political status of the two sides. Otherwise, a partnership cannot be established. Unity before all that is done will destroy the Turkish Cypriots in a very short time. So, let us pull ourselves together. The EU argues that it will take care of north Cyprus' economy through the Cyprus Government. Why does it say that? It is aware that the `TRNC' cannot agree to that. The support that is given to us through the Greek Cypriot Republic cannot be accepted. They are well-aware of that. Nevertheless, they continue to say that they will support us. Their approach is a design to divide and place us under the Greek Cypriot administration. They should not resort to such designs. The Turkish Cypriots are aware of what goes on. They are aware of their rights and support their status and state.
Criticizing the initiatives made by the opposition groups to have the Annan plan attached to a UN Security Council resolution or the document on Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr Denktas said:
"The Greek Cypriot side objected to the plan. Adding the plan to the accession document is ridiculous. An agreement does not exist between the two sides on the plan. It is an incomplete document. The opposition claims that it should be attached to a UN Security Council resolution or the EU accession document. Logical people would ask whether the plan has been accepted through a referendum. Well, a referendum has not been held on the plan. Neither side held a referendum. The two sides have reservations on it. They called for changes. Adding such a plan to this or that agreement will be wrong. Such an agreement will be unacceptable. It will bring to light the pressure put on us to force us to agree to it. Well, we will not agree to it. An agreement has to be reached. That requires equal treatment. If the two sides are equally treated, then the Greek Cypriots will realize that they will not be able to place the entire island under their control."
Question: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan disclosed that he would launch an initiative with the guarantor powers. Can you comment?
Answer: "We support his initiative. However, we do not know whether a new development has taken place."
Mr Denktas called on the Turkish Cypriots to remain calm and support his illegal regime. He noted that the economic problems will be solved in time. He said that turning away from motherland Turkey would be madness. He asserted that the first thing the Turkish side should do is to draw up the basic principles of its own approach, and added:
"We will outline our indispensable principles to safeguard our state and sovereignty. We will determine whether or not a partnership can be established under equal conditions. The Annan plan was not a document that provided for the establishment of a partnership that would satisfy us. In fact, the Greek Cypriot side quickly turned away from the word partnership. The plan gave the Greek Cypriots what they wanted. However, the Greek Cypriot side is aware that it would not need such a plan after it joined the EU. What did the Greek Cypriots want? Former Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides informed his electorate as follows: Do we not want the Turkish troops to withdraw? The plan provides for that. Do we not want all the refugees to return to their places? The plan will allow them to do so. What else do you want?
Some 100,000 Turkish Cypriots would be displaced in accordance with the merciless map that was attached to the plan. Our people have become aware of all that."
Question: Reports said that the Turkish side is drawing up a new plan. Can you comment?
Answer: "We will not draw up a new plan. As I said earlier, we will prepare a document that will underline our indispensable principles and inform the world that we will reject a plan that will not include them."
 Huseyin Angolemli: Denktas continues to make irresponsible statementsUnder the above title, KIBRIS newspaper (02.04.03) publishes a written statement made yesterday by the leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Mr Huseyin Angolemli.
Mr Angolemli was commenting on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas' statement that the opposition was working in co-operation with the Greek Cypriots to destroy his regime.
"Like a policeman, on every opportunity he says that he saw the evidence and that among the Turkish Cypriots there are traitors, but for some reason he does not exhibit the courage to disclose in some way the evidence in his hands. Yesterday Denktas once more alleged that the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots for existence is directed by rings offering services to the Greek Cypriots", stressed Mr Angolemli in his statement.
Accusing Mr Denktas of trying to divide the Turkish Cypriots into camps and terrorize them during his whole political life so as to continue his regime, Mr Angolemli goes on:
"Efforts are being made once more to tarnish and terrorize the Turkish Cypriots, who lately are working in solidarity and co-operation for peace and the EU target in a manner without precedent. If, as `President' Denktas alleges, a number of activities `organized under a ring' are under way, this, together with the evidence should be handed over to justice".
Mr Angolemli concludes by saying that every passing day Mr Denktas is losing his credibility and his ability to represent the Turkish Cypriots and stresses: "He has turned against the interests of his people and is hiding this by using the propaganda possibilities available to him, but at the same time he is trying to tarnish those peace forces which defend the interests of the Turkish Cypriots."
 Denktas continues to accuse Turkish Cypriots who favour peace and EU MembershipAccording to KIBRIS newspaper (01.04.03), the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas had a meeting yesterday with the Israeli ambassador to Cyprus Michael Eligal. The meeting lasted 45 minutes.
After the meeting Denktas answered questions put to him by journalists. To a question whether he would meet President Tassos Papadopoulos, Denktas said: "Allegations that I would meet Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos are not true".
He went on and said: "The first thing we would do is, after discussing with the Assembly, to draw the main outline of our plan and decide the points without which it is not possible to reach a settlement. And find out whether it is possible, under equal conditions and maintaining our state and the sovereignty, to establish a partnership."
Denktas also criticized the Annan Plan claiming that it did not envisage the partnership that the Turkish side wanted. He also accused the Turkish Cypriots who oppose his handling of the Cyprus problem. Denktas alleged that these people receive coded messages from the Greek Cypriot side and then act accordingly. He said that these messages were conveyed through the Internet.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister's illegal visit to the occupied areas has been posptonedAnkara Anatolia news agency (31.03.03) reported from Ankara that Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus, on 3 April.
As he was leaving the Foreign Ministry today, Gul told reporters that he would be visiting the occupied areas on Thursday.
Meanwhile Foreign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz, in reply to a question on the solution of the Cyprus problem, said: "It has been announced on various occasions that non-solution is not a solution. The failure of the Annan plan does not mean that efforts have been stopped. Turkey is conducting its own work."
Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN (2.04.03) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Erdogan, speaking at his party's Assembly Group meeting said that Turkey will do a new opening as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem. He also said that Foreign Minister Gul's visit to occupied Cyprus on Thursday is related to this attempt. He went on and said that he and Foreign Minister Gul will attend the Balkan countries meeting on 8 April in Belgrade and together with the Greek Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, at a four-sided summit meeting, they will discuss Cyprus.
Illegal Bayrak television (02.04.03, 13 hours) broadcast that Mr Gul has postponed his visit to occupied Cyprus because he will attend a NATO meeting in Brussels on the on-going Iraq war.
 Reference to Cyprus by the Deputy leader of JDPAnkara Anatolia news agency (31.03.03) reported from Ankara that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that additional sources would come onto the agenda that week.
The Justice and Development Party (JDP) Central Executive Board convened under the leadership of Erdogan.
Replying to questions of reporters prior to the meeting about the ``peace debenture bond`` taken up at the Council of Ministers meeting, Erdogan said that additional sources would come onto the agenda that week.
On his part JDP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat on Monday, following the JDP Central Executive Board meeting, told reporters that a motion on opening the airspace was passed from the parliament.
Firat said that developments in the Iraq war, Cyprus and economic issues were taken up during their meeting.
"The Cyprus issue would come onto the agenda again in the near future", Firat noted.
He said that the Cyprus problem would be taken up again in a five-party formation, comprised of the sides in Cyprus, the guarantor states and the United Nations (UN).
 The Cyprus problem on Powel's agenda during his visit to TurkeyAnkara TRT 2 Television (01.04.03) reported that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and other bureaucrats on the eve of US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to Ankara.
Attending the meeting, which was held at the Prime Minister's Office, in addition to Erdogan, were Gul; Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Ugur Ziyal; and Lieutenant General Koksal Karabay, General Staff operations chief and prime minister's chief military adviser. The meeting, which was said to be in preparation for Powell's upcoming visit, lasted one and a half hours.
According to information received in connection with the meeting, the participants agreed that Ankara is pleased about Powell's upcoming visit and that the visit constitutes a good opportunity in terms of eliminating the tension in bilateral relations. It was also learned that the participants focused on the fact that there has not been any demand on Turkey until now with regard to the Iraqi war, but under the continuing war conditions, such a demand could arise. Ankara will state that if issues such as the use of military bases or the deployment of foreign troops are raised during Powell's visit, these requests can be assessed within the framework of an authorization motion to be approved by the National Assembly, as was the case with the previous motions. Agreement was reached to voice all of Turkey's problems during the visit, and it was noted that these consist of military and political matters as well as the north Iraq and Cyprus issues. In addition to all this, Powell's plan to proceed to Brussels and participate in the NATO meetings was considered meaningful in terms of expressing Ankara's views on this platform.
 The so-called mayor of occupied Nicosia asked for recognition from Kofi AnnanTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (01.04.03) reports that the so-called mayor of occupied Nicosia, which since the Turkish invasion of 1974 is under the control of the Turkish occupation army and the illegal Turkish embassy, has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan on 21 March 2003.
In his letter, the so-called mayor, Mr. Kutlay Erk, inter alia, writes the following:
"We are asking for the recognition and representation of the Turkish Nicosia Municipality as a legal entity in the international field, and to participate actively with the Greek Nicosia Municipality in international activities".
Ignoring completely the fact that since 1963 the Turkish Cypriots were forced by their leadership to abandon the Republic of Cyprus in order to destroy it and impose partition and that since 1974 the Turkish army is in full control of the occupied areas, Mr Erk alleges that the occupied Nicosia Municipality is a legal entity for 45 years.
Finally, Mr Erk expresses the hope that a comprehensive solution will be achieved in Cyprus before May 2004 when Cyprus will be a full member of the EU.
 The two opposition parties stop boycotting the works of the "assembly"KIBRIS (02.04.03) reports that the two Turkish Cypriot opposition parties, the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), stopped boycotting the works of the pseudoassembly.
As the paper reports the two parties, which have started the boycott since the 7th of March, participated yesterday in a meeting of the "parliament". The parties had decided to boycott the works of the "assembly" till the 30th of March, because the pseudogovernment prevented the submission of a referendum for the Annan Plan.
 Serdar Denktas: It is a good thing that the UN Plan ceased to be on the tableKIBRIS (01.04.03) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and so-called deputy Prime Minister of the pseudostate, made comments on the UN Plan.
As the paper reports, Mr Serdar said that the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, received wrong information regarding the situation on the island. According to Mr Denktas the picture, which was created, that two communities in Cyprus are ready for am agreement, was wrong. Mr Denktas also said that the UN Plan was not a "lost opportunity" but a plan that could lead the two communities to take the guns against each other in two years and noted that it was a good thing that it ceased to be on the negotiating table.
In addition, as KIBRIS reports, ten members of the Lefka Youth Branch of the Democratic Party decided to leave the party because they cannot approve the behavior of Serdar Denktas towards the UN Plan. According to a written statement, the former DP members were hurt because Mr Serdar Denktas did not listen to the young persons of the party and supported the decision of preventing the submission of a referendum on the 30th of March.
 Serdar Denktas prepares a nine-page "Emergency Action Plan"; Izcan wants facilities for the Turkish Cypriots working in the free areasYENI DUZEN (01.04.03) reports that a group formed upon instructions of Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), has prepared a nine-page "Emergency Action Plan", which is about to be submitted to the so-called "ministerial council" of the puppet regime. The paper notes that this plan is considered as an answer to the "Package for Progress and Recovering", which had been prepared by the National Unity Party (NUP), the big partner in the "coalition government". The paper argues that the aim of both plans is for the above-mentioned parties to gain back the respect of the Turkish Cypriots.
According to the paper, DP's plan provides, inter alia, for the following:
1. Declaring occupied Cyprus a free trade zone.
2. Giving incentives for imports from non-EU member countries.
3. Prohibiting the civilians to enter the military canteens.
4. Declaring that hiring new employees in the so-called "public sector" is stopped.
5. Permitting people from Turkey who want a job in the occupied areas to enter the pseudostate only if they had acquired "working permit" from before in Mersin, southern Turkey, and made a reservation to stay in a hotel in the occupied areas.
6. Reducing the military service to eight months.
7. The visits of Turkish Cypriots to the free areas of Cyprus are proposed to become completely free provided that the person who wishes to cross over would show his identity card. The same "rule" is proposed to be valid for the foreigners who would be able to cross over to the free areas only by showing their passport. People who will cross over will be allowed to carry with them some products provided that these products will not be for trade.
8. The illegal universities should cease from being under the jurisdiction of Turkey's Higher Education Board.
Meanwhile, according to KIBRIS (02.04.03), Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (UCP), has asked from the "authorities" of the puppet regime to open new gates for the Turkish Cypriots who every morning cross over to the free areas to work and make the procedures needed for them to cross over more simple. In a statement issued yesterday Mr Izcan notes that the workers have to wait for a long time at the barricade of the occupied Pergamos village, Larnaca area, and wonders why the occupation regime does not permit those who live in occupied Nicosia to cross over from the Ledra Palace barricade.
 The case of granting the so-called "citizenship" of the pseudostate begins; 270 so-called "citizens" are proved not residents of the occupied areasKIBRIS (02.04.03) reports that the "citizenships case", which began recently after charges filed by the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) against those who had acquired the so-called "citizenship" of the puppet regime without being residents of the occupied areas, has reached an important stage. The paper notes that until now and after the first examination, it is proved that 270 persons have become "citizens" of the pseudostate without living in the occupied areas. "It is believed that this number will increase after the examination on the basis of the lists" submitted by the RTP and includes the names of 1600, continues KIBRIS.
The paper writes that only the preliminary-examination of the "case", which is planned to continue on 16 April, began yesterday. RTP has given a list with 1600 persons who became citizens of the pseudostate after the so-called "municipal elections" on 30 June.
Meanwhile, commenting on the issue, AFRIKA (02.04.03) describes the whole procedure as "a disgrace", because this "case" will "legalize" the status of all the illegal Turkish settlers, except of those 270 persons. Under the banner front-page title "We have willingly accepted being a minority" and the subtitle "Does anybody know how many Turkish Cypriots have remained?" the paper wonders the following:
"Is there anybody who does not know that the local population is being annihilated in northern Cyprus, by the mentality 'Those who come are Turks too like those who leave'? All the reports in the world stress how the Turkish Cypriots have been turned into a minority in their own country. The EU reports note that their number is around 80 thousands. The number of the registered voters in the 30 June election was 134.000. Why an opposition party like RTP insists on legalizing this number, while it is obvious that more than half of them is people from Turkey? What right do we have to shout that we have become a minority here, if we object to only 270 persons?"
 Izcan holds responsible the Turkish generals for the oppression against the Turkish CypriotsAFRIKA (01.04.03) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (UCP), has accused the Turkish generals in Ankara of oppressing the Turkish Cypriots and of attacking the supporters of reaching a solution in Cyprus both at Elia Morphou and in occupied Kyrenia.
In a statement issued on Monday, Mr Izcan notes, inter alia, the following: ".Efforts are exerted to oppress the wish of the Turkish Cypriots for a solution upon orders sent from the generals in Ankara. .".
 Turkey prepares to launch new Cyprus peace pushUnder the above title TURKISH DAILY NEWS (02.04.03) publishes the following article by Yusuf Kanli:
"Despite the failure of the United Nations bid to end the almost four-decade-old Cyprus problem last month, Turkey declared on Tuesday that it was preparing to launch a new peace initiative for the eastern Mediterranean island.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the failure of the U.N. efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem would not deter Turkey from taking the initiative and continuing to explore for a just and lasting settlement on Cyprus.
The U.N. efforts for a Cyprus resolution collapsed in early March when at a March 10 summit at The Hague neither Turkish Cypriot `President' Rauf Denktas, nor new Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos accepted a demand from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to dispatch a U.N. semi-completed blueprint to separate referenda on the island on March 30.
While the Greek Cypriot side rejected the document on grounds that it failed to provide return of all Greek Cypriot refugees to the northern Turkish Cypriot part of the island, Denktas rejected the document on charges that it did not meet the fundamental demands of his people, headed by sovereignty, stipulated unacceptable ratio of territorial concessions and fell contrary to the agreed principle of a bi-zonal settlement.
The blame of the failure of the U.N. plan, however, was mostly attributed by the U.S. and the EU to Denktas, although Papadopoulos shared equal responsibility in the collapse of the process.
The European Union is now preparing to sign in Athens on April 16 an Accession Treaty with the Greek Cypriot administration, which has been enjoying international recognition as "the sole legitimate government on Cyprus." With the treaty, the EU will effectively admit only the southern, Greek Cypriot section of the island, leaving the Turkish Cypriot territory in the north, and the 30,000 Turkish troops there, as a looming headache for Turkish-EU relations.
A deal on Cyprus would have helped Turkey's hopes of joining the EU.
The Justice and development Party (JDP) government of Turkey, which has made EU accession the cornerstone of its foreign policy, has been stressing ever since it came to power after a landmark victory in November polls that unlike previous Turkish governments does not consider "non-solution of the Cyprus problem is a solution itself" approach.
"Our Cyprus policy is one that states: Solve and let it live," Erdogan has been stressing.
The JDP leader told a parliamentary group of his party Tuesday that his government will not give up hopes of a Cyprus settlement.
"We're not about to give up on searching for a solution to the Cyprus issue just because (the U.N. plan) is deadlocked... We want to make new initiatives, new openings. On Thursday Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will go to (northern) Cyprus and will start those steps, those openings," Erdogan said.
He gave no details, but added that the Nicosia trip of the foreign minister will be a prelude to an April 9 summit of himself and Gul with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou on the sidelines of a meeting of the heads of state or government of the southeast European countries in Belgrade.
At the Belgrade meeting of the prime ministers and foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece, Erdogan is anticipated to formally propose a conference of guarantor powers and the two sides on Cyprus.
Turkey has been floating the idea of the conference of guarantor powers since the March 11 collapse of the U.N. Cyprus peace efforts at the Hague. So far, while the British government has been silent on the issue, the Papadopoulos administration of northern Cyprus has been against the idea, Denktas -- under Turkish pressure -- has been lukewarm and Greece, though has not yet taken a formal position, believed to be supportive of the proposal.
According to 1960 accords that ended the British colonial rule and established the "Cyprus Republic", a partnership state of the two peoples of the island, Turkey, Greece and Britain are the guarantor powers of Cyprus.
The conference of guarantor powers proposal of Turkey is also expected to be handled during the visit to Turkey today by American Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The U.S. has been pressuring both Ankara and Athens and the two sides on Cyprus since the March 11 collapse of the U.N. Cyprus efforts to return to the Cyprus talks on the basis of the failed Annan plan.
Thomas Weston, the American special coordinator for Cyprus is expected to be on the island later this week with a message from the American administration that the U.S. is "committed to search for a just and lasting solution in Cyprus."
He is expected also to explain to the two sides on the island that Washington believed, "The sooner the parties re-engage on the basis of the Annan plan, the better."
Subtitle: Papadopoulos prepares to unveil 'Support for Turkish Cypriots package'
The Tassos Papadopoulos government of southern Cyprus, meanwhile, has stepped up efforts to prepare a propaganda offensive towards northern Turkish Cypriot state and will unveil days before the scheduled April 16 signing of the EU accession Treaty in Athens a comprehensive "Support for Turkish Cypriots Package," reports from southern Nicosia indicated.
The "Support for Turkish Cypriots Package" was reportedly discussed at the Greek Cypriot Cabinet last Thursday but the final decision on the "socio-economic-political" package will be made by Papadopoulos himself.
The measures were reportedly based on a semi-concluded similar package drawn up by the previous Glafcos Clerides government, with a few additions.
Reports indicated that the fundamental elements of the "Support for Turkish Cypriots Package" were: Exporting goods from the Turkish Cypriot territories via the internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot republic and bearing the Cyprus seal; internal trading and the creation of EU control mechanisms; facilitating the employment of Turkish Cypriots in the Greek Cypriot territories; the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in the June 2004 European Union elections (by EU decree, of the six Cypriot European deputies, four will be Greek Cypriot and two Turkish Cypriot); relatives of Turkish Cypriot missing persons from 1963 and 1974 will be given the same financial treatment as their Greek Cypriot counterparts, with monthly subsidies; and facilitating the ability for Turkish Cypriots to obtain a Cyprus Republic passport and other official documents".
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in HURRIYET assesses that the opposition will win the so-called elections in the occupied areas next DecemberIstanbul HURRIYET newspaper (31.03.03) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title: "Cyprus again!":
"The Iraq war should not make us forget another ticking bomb: Cyprus!
The discussions that had been underway for 40 days have reached an end, since Kofi Annan withdrew as mediator.
The Greek Cypriot side, which does not want the Annan Plan any more than our guys do, obtained the right to sign the partnership agreement with the EU on 16 April 2003, as the representative of the entire island and with the name of Republic of Cyprus, and to officially join the EU in March 2004.
Whereas on the one hand our guys our yelling, "It does not count!", on the other side they are rubbing their hands together thinking that they have saved the status quo.
This is the sad situation Cyprus is in and it is heartbreaking.
Well, is there nothing that can be done? I think there still is. First let us see what is not possible:
1. Nothing can be done until 16 April. Nobody knows what sort of talks the Republic of Turkey, which claims it will search for a basis for talks until 16 April, will demand. The `TRNC' administration is busy demanding the "impossible" and is simply kicking the ball around before the whistle blows.
2. The Greek Cypriot side will not make additional concessions regarding the Annan Plan, which -- with both its good and bad points -- is the broadest plan that has ever been drafted. It got what it wanted anyway.
The plan that currently exists offers only two options: take it or leave it.
However, there is one thing that can be done by March 2004: Peace supporters could win the general elections that will be held in the `TRNC' in December 2003!
Even Rauf Denktas admits that [peace advocates] could win if the Peace Platform, which has been holding joint demonstrations thus far, does not splinter.
The status quo cannot win the elections no matter what it does if all peace advocates join the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), which is the opposition's biggest party, and its chairman Mehmet Ali Talat.
Besides, you will see that the status quo's main strategy during the December elections will be based on breaking up the Peace Platform.
Divide and rule!
Mr Rauf Denktas will stay in office after the elections but the new `National Assembly' could revoke his right to represent the Turkish Cypriots during peace talks.
The `TRNC National Assembly' could thank Mumtaz Soysal, go on to elect new representatives and, without disregarding the negative points I have cited above, could agree with the Greek Cypriots on the premise that the sooner you correct the mistake the better and ensure that all Cypriots join the EU in March 2004.
Thus, Turkish Cypriots, who would join the EU, could both overcome their bad luck and pave the way for Turkey's EU membership. There is still hope for peace on Cyprus!"